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Submission + - President Obama Calls For New 'Space Race' Funding (

dmfinn writes: While his union address covered a wide range of topics, President Obama made sure not to skip over the U.S.'s space program. The talking point was nearly identical to the one he gave in 2009, in which he called for space R&D spending to be increased past the levels seen during the the original cold war space race. Now, 4 years after that speach, it appears things have gone the opposite way. Since 2009 NASA has seen some serious cuts. Not only has the space-shuttle program been deactivated, but the agency was forced to endure harsh funding cuts during the presidents latter term. Despite an ominous history, it now seems that Obama is back on the space objective, pushing congress to increase non-defensive R&D spending to 3% of the U.S. GDP. It's important to keep in mind that not all of this money goes directly to space related programs, though under the proposed budget the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Laboratories will have their budgets doubled.There will also be an increase in tax credits towards companies and organizations working on these R&D projects.

Should the U.S. go back to its 'Let's put a man on the moon" ideology, or is the federal government fighting an uphill battle against newly emerging private space expeditions? Either way, the question remains whether or not Obama will act on any of the propositions.


Submission + - NIST issues a Request for Information concerning the Cybersecurity Framework (

Presto Vivace writes: "NIST has issued a RIF for Cybersecurity Framework(PDF), which will soon be published in the Federal Register. The Information Technology Laboratory of NIST has created a web site for Cybersecurity Framework.

Clearly, much depends upon how this is implemented. I would encourage all those who are interested to participate in the process. Now is the time to speak out, before the Executive Order is implemented."

Submission + - NY Times' Broder Responds to Tesla's Elon Musk (

DocJohn writes: "NY Times' John Broder responded to Elon Musk's blog entry, responding to accusations with deft and reasonable replies. Accused of driving around a parking lot for no reason, for instance, Broder notes he was simply looking for the poorly marked charging station. Worse of all, much of Broder's behavior can be attributed directly to advice he received from Tesla representatives — something Musk fails to mention."

Submission + - Congress takes up online sales tax (

head_dunce writes: "A bill introduced Thursday by a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers seeks to make it easier for states to collect sales taxes stemming from online purchases. Amazon is among the e-retailers supporting the proposal, while a lobbying group representing eBay and stands opposed."

Submission + - UK company files for trademark on Python (

sunzoomspark writes: For anyone who works in a company that has an office in a EU Community member state, we need your help.

There is a company in the UK that is trying to trademark the use of the term "Python" for all software, services, servers... pretty much anything having to do with a computer. Specifically, it is the company that got a hold on the domain 13 years ago. At that time we weren't looking a lot at trademark issues, and so we didn't get that domain.


Submission + - Valve officially launches Steam for Linux (

sl4shd0rk writes: Valve has finally released Steam for Linux. Although some of the 57 games listed on the Linux Steam site are previously released from the Humble Bundles, there are others which should provide adequate entertainment for anyone bored with the HB games. Among the games listed, many at deep discounts of 50%-75% off, are HalfLife, CounterStrke Source and Serious Sam 3. Hopefully Valve will keep the ports coming as rumor has it that Left 4 Dead had been ported at least for developers.

Submission + - Source of High-Energy Cosmic Rays Nailed at Last (

sciencehabit writes: For the past century, physicists have puzzled over cosmic rays, particles (mostly protons) that hurtle through space at high speed and seem to come from all directions equally. What's the source of these galactic projectiles? And how do they come to be traveling so fast? Today, an international team announced a major step toward answering those questions: conclusive evidence that at least some of the cosmic rays come from supernova remnants—expanding shells of matter from exploded stars—that are acting as natural particle accelerators.

Submission + - DragonEye: 3D Laser Space Camera (

An anonymous reader writes: While a DragonEye LIDAR sounds like a subplot to a James Bond movie, it is what the Dragon spacecraft uses to approach and position itself to dock with the International Space Station. Laser precision comes in handy when trying to attach the 1.3-meter hatch of the Dragon to the football-field-sized space station which travels at an astounding speed of 4.71 miles per second. Once the Dragon capsule passes the R-Bar, it has to preform a series of staggered maneuvers to gradually approach the ISS Keep out Zone, a 200-meter border around the ISS, and get ready for the Canada Arm to grab it at 10-meters out.

Submission + - Valve Releases Steam For Linux Client, Celebrates With Week-Long Sale

An anonymous reader writes: Valve on Thursday announced the release of its Steam for Linux client. You can download the client now for free from the Ubuntu Software Center. In typical Steam fashion, the company is celebrating the big day with a sale: over 50 Linux titles are now 50 percent to 75 percent off until 10:00AM PST on Wednesday, February 21. This means you have just under a week to take advantage, and should be plenty of time for Valve to set a new record in Steam for Linux downloads.

Submission + - IE standardization fading fast (

alphadogg writes: Just as Internet users in general have defected in huge numbers from Microsoft Internet Explorer over the past several years, the business world, as well, is becoming less dependent on the venerable browser. Companies that used to mandate the use of IE for access to web resources are beginning to embrace a far more heterodox attitude toward web browsers. While it hasn't gone away, the experience of having to use IE 6 to access some legacy in-house web app is becoming less common. "A lot of it has to do with the emergence of the modern web and the popularity of mobile. They have made it very different for companies to truly standardize on a browser," says Gartner Research analyst David Mitchell Smith.
Wireless Networking

Submission + - First bionic eye gets FDA blessing (

coondoggie writes: "The US Food and Drug Administration today approved what it says is the first bionic eye, or retinal prosthesis, that can partially restore the sight of blind individuals after surgical implantation. pecifically the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System includes a small video camera, transmitter mounted on a pair of eyeglasses, video processing unit (VPU) and an implanted artificial retina. The VPU transforms images from the video camera into electronic data that is wirelessly transmitted to the retinal prosthesis."

Submission + - Driver Trapped in Speeding Car at 125 mph

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Guardian reports that Frank Lecerf was driving his Renault Laguna in Northern France when the car's speed jammed at 60mph. Then each time he tried to brake, the car accelerated, eventually reaching 125mph and sticking there. While uncontrollably speeding through the fast lane as other cars swerved out of his way, he managed to call emergency services who immediately dispatched a platoon of police cars. Realizing Lecerf had no choice but to keep racing along until his fuel ran out, they escorted him at high speed across almost 125 miles of French motorway, past Calais and Dunkirk, and over the Belgian border. After about an hour, Lecerf's tank spluttered empty and he managed to swerve into a ditch in Alveringem in Belgium, about 125 miles from his home. "My life flashed before me," says Lecerf. "I just wanted it to stop." His lawyer says Lecerf will file a legal complaint over "endangerment of a person's life"."

Submission + - BlackBerry founder abandons ship (

drdread66 writes: Research In Motion co-founder Jim Balsillie confirms what Slashdotters have suspected for quite some time: RIM (now BlackBerry) is doomed. Reuters reports today that Balsillie dumped his entire stake in BlackBerry at the end of 2012. While it's common to see high-level executives sell some of their shares to gain some liquidity, it's unusual to see them exit their positions completely. This has to be seen as a massive vote of "no confidence" from someone who was on the inside long enough to know what's going on in the company.